AIA New York and Center for Architecture Honor Design Leaders at Heritage Ball

October 26, 2018

NEW YORK, NY, October 26, 2018 — Heritage Ball, AIA New York (AIANY) and the Center for Architecture’s annual gala, filled Chelsea Piers’ Pier 60 with almost 1,100 professionals from the architecture, engineering, construction, and real estate industries. While networking was enjoyed by all, the focus of the evening was to celebrate New York City leaders who champion design excellence in the city, demonstrating leadership, vision, and commitment to projects and initiatives that contribute to New York City’s status as a global design capital. This year’s honorees were WEISS/MANFREDI; Larry Silverstein, founder, Silverstein Properties; Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, Commissioner, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation; and Beverly Willis, FAIA, and the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation.

Heritage Ball also celebrated the Center for Architecture’s 15th anniversary. Since October 2003, the Center for Architecture has become a leading cultural institution focusing on architecture and the built environment. The Center for Architecture seeks to educate a broad public about the importance of architecture and design, while also serving as a hub for professional development and advocacy for New York’s architects as the home of the AIA New York, the largest chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

In his speech, Benjamin Prosky, Assoc. AIA, Executive Director, AIANY | Center for Architecture, said, “The Center for Architecture has helped AIA New York grow from just over 3,000 members to nearly 5,700 today, allowed us to reach hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and visitors, and enriched the lives of many thousands of students, teachers and families. We are grateful especially to the members and supporters who helped found and sustain us over the past 15 years.”

The Heritage Ball serves as the single largest funding source for the AIA New York and Center for Architecture and allows the organizations to carry out their missions through many initiatives and programs. This year’s gala raised nearly $1.5 million for such initiatives.


President’s Award: WEISS/MANFREDi

The 2016 President’s Award recipient, WEISS/MANFREDI, is honored for standing at the forefront of architectural design practices that are redefining the relationships between landscape architecture, infrastructure, and art.

WEISS/MANFREDI is a multidisciplinary design firm in New York City known for its dynamic integration of architecture, art, infrastructure, and landscape design. Founded by Marion Weiss and Michael A. Manfredi, their projects include the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle, the Women’s Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, the University of Pennsylvania’s Nanotechnology Center, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center, Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park, and the Barnard College Diana Center. They are currently redesigning the United States Embassy campus in New Delhi, India and are designing a new tower for innovative technological research on the University of Toronto’s campus. WEISS/MANFREDI has won numerous awards and their work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the Venice Biennale, the Louvre, and the Guggenheim Museum.

AIA New York Chapter Award: Larry A. Silverstein, Chairman, Silverstein Properties

Larry Silverstein receives this year’s AIA New York Chapter Award for his tireless work pursuing the growth and renewal of NYC’s people, businesses, and communities through philanthropy and his own projects.

Larry A. Silverstein is the Chairman of Silverstein Properties, a Manhattan-based real estate development and investment firm that has developed, owned, and managed 40 million square feet of office, residential, hotel, and retail space. The firm currently has $10 billion worth of development activity underway and has been recognized as one of the “Best Places to Work in New York City” by Crain’s New York Business for the past eight years.

In July 2001, Silverstein completed the largest real estate transaction in New York history when he signed a 99-year lease on the 10.6M-square-foot World Trade Center for $3.25 billion, only to see it destroyed in terrorist attacks six weeks later, on September 11, 2001. He has spent the last 14 years rebuilding the office component of the World Trade Center site.

A 1952 graduate of New York University, Silverstein served as Vice Chairman of the NYU Board of Trustees, where he continues to serve as member of the Board of Trustees of the New York University Langone Medical Center. He is the Founder and Chairman emeritus of the advisory board of the NYU Real Estate Institute. As a Professor of Real Estate, his “Silverstein Workshop” became one of the most attended and informative educational sources for learning real estate development and investment analysis.

Silverstein is a member of the New York Bar and a Governor of the Real Estate Board of New York, having served as its Chairman. He has served as Chairman of the Realty Foundation of New York.

Silverstein donates his time and resources to support many philanthropic endeavors. He has served as Chairman of the Board of UJA-Federation. He is a founding trustee of the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York and has served as treasurer of National Jewish Health in Denver. He also serves as a board member of the New York Philharmonic.

Center for Architecture Award: Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, Commissioner, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation

Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, is the recipient of the Center for Architecture Award his demonstrated commitment to equitable access to beautifully designed, well-maintained parks for all New Yorkers.

Mitchell Silver became Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation in May 2014. He is also the immediate past president of the American Planning Association (APA). Silver is an award-winning planner with over 30 years of experience. He is internationally recognized for his leadership in the planning profession and his contributions to contemporary planning issues. As Parks Commissioner, Silver oversees management, planning, and operations of 30,000 acres of parkland. In this role, he developed the Community Parks Initiative to build a more equitable parks system, Parks Without Borders to create a more seamless public realm, and the Anchor Parks program to make old parks new again.

Prior to returning to his native New York City, he served as the Chief Planning & Development Officer for Raleigh, NC, where he led the comprehensive plan update process and a rewriting of the development code to create a vibrant 21st-century city. In 2014, he was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Planning Association and in 2017 he was made an honorary member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). One of the nation’s most celebrated urban thinkers, Commissioner Silver was elected to Planetizen’s list of the 100 Most Influential Urbanists.

NYC Visionary Award: Beverly Willis, FAIA, and the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation

The NYC Visionary Award was bestowed on Beverly Willis, FAIA, and the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, recognizing her leadership in advocating for equal treatment, equal pay, equal opportunity, and equal recognition for women in architecture and related professions.

Beverly Willis, FAIA, has produced a steady stream of contributions to the building profession in the realms of design, planning, and practice through innovation, and additionally in leadership and filmmaking. After retiring from her architectural practice at 75, she endowed a foundation in her name to recognize the historic and contemporary contributions of women architects, engineers, and developers. The Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation has created website archives of women architects, most recently the Webby-recognized Pioneering Women of American Architecture. Willis has written and directed five films, with the most recent, Unknown New York: The City that Women Built, premiering in 2018. She took a leadership position on sexual harassment in her opinion piece for Architect Magazine in June 2018.

In 2017, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the AIACC. Her first design award was in 1966 from the Governor of California for her work that helped start the national concept of adaptive re-use of buildings, by converting three crumbling Victorian Houses to a retail shopping center. She received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Mt. Holyoke College 1981. Beverly Willis’ long career as an artist, architect, filmmaker and author provides inspiration to women of all ages.


In appreciation of their significant contributions towards design excellence, AIA New York and Center for Architecture invited each award recipient to select an academic program to receive scholarships for one of its students. The following students were chosen by their respective programs:

Oonagh Davis – Cornell University School of Architecture, receiving a scholarship in honor of WEISS/MANFREDI.

Leslie Epps The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, City College of New York, receiving a scholarship in honor of Larry Silverstein.

Alejandra Sanchez – Pratt Institute, receiving a scholarship in honor of Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver.

Quentin Yiu Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, receiving a scholarship in honor of Beverly Willis and the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation.

Special thanks to this year’s sponsors:


AECOM Tishman
AECOM Tishman has delivered many of the most globally recognized, iconic buildings, defining the skylines of the world’s most notable cities. With a legacy that spans 120 years, AECOM Tishman has built more than 600 million square feet, managing construction of such high-profile projects as the World Trade Center, Hudson Yards, and One Vanderbilt in New York City; Metropolis and The Grand in downtown Los Angeles; and Miami WorldCenter in downtown Miami. It’s a legacy that continues to grow as part of AECOM. For more information, visit

About Brookfield Properties
Brookfield Properties is a premier real estate operating company that provides integrated services across the real estate investment strategies of Brookfield Asset Management, a global alternative asset manager with over $265 billion in AUM. Brookfield’s global investing expertise and access to large-scale capital, combined with Brookfield Properties’ well-established position as the commercial landlord of choice in many of the world’s most dynamic markets, provides a unique advantage.

In New York City, Brookfield operates nearly 20 million square feet of Class A office space and has more than 8,300 multifamily residential units completed or planned in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. Brookfield Place New York in Lower Manhattan – the 8-million-square-foot complex formerly known as the World Financial Center – has become one of New York’s most dynamic mixed-use destinations. Brookfield is currently developing Manhattan West, an eight-acre, six-building district on Manhattan’s Far West Side.

About CetraRuddy Architecture
CetraRuddy is an international award-winning architecture, planning, and interior design firm based in New York City. For over 30 years, the firm has been led with a guiding principle that architecture and design must engage its context while enriching the human spirit. The 100-person firm’s thought leadership stems from a shared passion and spirit of creating, as well as the firm’s diversity of backgrounds and cultures. CetraRuddy’s core beliefs begin with the idea that Architecture Is Home, always seeking out the story behind each building site, its deep historical context, and the fresh opportunities to craft innovative solutions.

Notable work includes projects as diverse as One Madison, Walker Tower, 443 Greenwich, Sushi Samba London, Lincoln Square Synagogue, and the Choice School in Thiruvalla, India.

About Silverstein Properties
Silverstein Properties is a privately-held, full-service real estate development, investment, and management firm based in New York. Silverstein has developed, owned, and managed more than 40 million square feet of office, residential, hotel, and retail properties, including the new World Trade Center. For the past eight years, Silverstein has been named one of the “Best Places to Work in New York City” by Crain’s New York Business.

WSP USA is the US operating company of WSP, one of the world’s leading engineering and professional services firms. Dedicated to serving local communities, we are engineers, planners, technical experts, strategic advisors, and construction management professionals. WSP USA designs lasting solutions for the buildings, transportation, energy, water, and environment markets. The firm’s property and buildings team is a global leader in the field of structural and systems engineering. With more than 7,000 people in 100 offices across the U.S., we partner with our clients to help communities prosper.

In New York City, WSP is the engineer behind prominent high-rise towers, including One, Two, Three, and Seven World Trade Center; 432 Park Avenue; and 56 Leonard. At Hudson Yards, WSP has engineered 15, 50, and 55 Hudson Yards, in addition to the future towers at 66 and 3 Hudson Blvd. Other prominent buildings include Hearst Tower, the New York Times Headquarters, Arthur Ashe and Louis Armstrong stadiums, CitiField stadium, the new MoMA tower at 53W53, and many others.

AKF; Beyer Blinder Belle; Cerami; CNY Group; Desimone; DLR Group; FXCollaborative; Gensler; GMS; Hill | West Architects; Infinite Consulting Corp; JRM; Kohler Ronan; Lutron; MechoSystems; Mitchell Giurgola; ODA New York; Owens Group; Richter+Ratner; Sciame; Silman; Studios Architecture; STV; Syska Hennessy; We Work

Adamson Associates; AKRF; Arup; Benson Industries, Inc; Bespoke Careers; Boston Properties; BuroHappold Engineering; Capalino+Company; Cauldwell Wingate; Cosentini Associates; E-J Electric Installation Co.; Ennead Architects; Grimshaw Architects; Handel Architects; Ingram, Yuzek, Gainen, Carroll & Bertolotti; James McCullar Architecture, PC; Jaros Baum & Bolles; Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel; Langan; Lendlease; Loring Consulting Engineers, Inc.;  OLA Consulting Engineers, PC; Pavarini McGovern; Perkins Eastman; Plaza Construction; Rafael Viñoly Architects; Robert A.M. Stern Architects; S9 Architecture; Severud Associates; Skanska; SHoP Architects;  Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill;  SLCE Architects; Spacesmith LLP; Stantec; Studio Libeskind; The Donaldson Organization; The Steel and Ornamental Metal Institutes of New York; Thornton Tomasetti; Tishman Speyer; Turner Construction; Vanguard Construction & Development; VJ Associates; VVA Project Managers & Consultants; WEISS/MANFREDI; Zetlin & De Chiara

List as of October 29, 2018

About the AIA New York
AIA New York is the oldest and largest chapter of the American Institute of Architects with nearly 5,700 architect, allied professional, student, and public members. AIANY is dedicated to three goals: design excellence, public outreach and professional development.

About the Center for Architecture
The Center for Architecture is the premier cultural venue for architecture and the built environment in New York City, informed by the complexity of the City’s urban fabric and in dialogue with the global community. The Center shares a home with the AIA New York Chapter and has the unique advantage of drawing upon the ideas and experiences of practicing architects to produce thought-provoking exhibitions, informative public programs, and quality design education experiences for K-12 students. It also leads New York City’s annual month-long architecture and design festival, Archtober. The Center for Architecture’s aim is to further public knowledge about New York City architecture and architects, foster exchange and collaboration among members of the design, development, building, scholarly, and policy sectors, and inspire new ideas about the role of design in communities by presenting contemporary and practical issues in architecture and urbanism to a general audience.



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